China has appointed Communist Party and government officials to manage one of the world's largest centers of Tibetan Buddhist learning, raising concerns over strengthened ideological control over religion.

The appointments at Larung Gar in southwest China are the latest sign of Beijing's distrust of Tibetan Buddhist institutions.

The postings by the personnel department of the Communist Party in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture were carried by the website of the party mouthpiece People's Daily this week.

Over the past year, authorities have carried out demolitions and evictions at Larung Gar in an attempt to cut the number of monks, nuns and students living there by half to 5,000.

Overseas Tibetan groups say authorities want to stop the spread of Tibetan Buddhism, which has grown popular among Chinese beyond traditional Tibetan areas.